Netflix is offering a film entitled “Breaking Boundaries” that documents the serious danger we are in as a result of human assaults on the environment, which we once thought was nearly permanent and unbreakable.
The film centers around the work of a Swedish scientist who demonstrated that the environment can recover from our assaults as long as we do not push things past certain boundaries. Nine separate boundaries are identified and each one poses a threat to our ability to thrive, or even survive, on this planet.
Taken together, because they are all interconnected, we face a challenge humankind has never faced before. Either we radically change our behavior within a decade or so, or Earth’s environment will collapse and our civilization with it. A timeline of temperatures starting eons ago shows major fluctuations until about 10,000 years ago when the environment became stable and temperature fluctuations stayed within roughly +/- 1 degree. This stability allowed our modern world to come into being. Alas, we have put this stability into dire jeopardy. That is far from our only problem. The acidification and degradation of the oceans is another extremely worrying trend to scientists (and it should worry all of us), given that if the oceans “die” so does life on this planet in any form we would recognize.
Given the often pathetic responses to the dramatic and obvious dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic by a large segment of the human community, how can one hope that humans will rise up in a united and cooperative way to fight against the even far more dangerous and destructive calamity of impending environmental collapse. Do we turn away from the problem, thinking there is no hope? Do we allow the cynics and demagogues, who value their personal short-term gain over anything or anybody else, control our destiny?
The least we can do is to try to get everyone on this planet to understand the dangerous dilemma we face: change the way we live, or prepare for an extremely slow-motion train wreck with all of us onboard. Watch the film, even if you think you already know much of the material. Then get others to see it. The end of denial might be the start of some concerted and long overdue pressure for effective change directed at political leaders, corporate players and mere mortals at all levels .